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'Kambakkht Ishq is important for the industry'

June 29, 2009 16:40 IST

Image: A scene from Kambakkht Ishq
Aseem Chabbra

Akshay Kumar came to New York City this weekend looking tanned and well rested. He was on vacation in Puerto Rico with his family but Eros International roped him into talking to the press about his new film Kambakkht Ishq

Wearing a blue shirt, jeans and a pair of bright yellow (and perhaps very expensive) loafers, the Bollywood star acknowledged that Kambakkht Ishq was important to him, especially given that his last two films -- Chandni Chowk to China and 8x10 Tasveer -- had failed at the box office. 

"Every film is important," he said. "Chandni Chowk was important to me as well as 8x10. I tried to take a risk; I tried to experiment with 8x10. I am very happy with the outcome of it. It made no impact on the box office, but as an actor I learnt a lot from (director) Nagesh (Kukunoor)."

'Kambakkht Ishq is an Indian Mr and Mrs Smith'

Image: A scene from Kambakkht Ishq

"This film (Kambakkht Ishq) is important, not only to me, but also to the industry. We have gone through a major loss because of the strike (he estimated it to be in the range of Rs 300 to 400 crores). I hear New York has taken a good opening and my film is coming and then another three-four more films are coming. I hope they all do well because it is important for the industry to survive."

Kumar defined Kambakkht Ishq as a film that deals with the battle of sexes and an Indian Mr and Mrs Smith. Later at the press conference he suggested that Indians living in the US should watch his new film with their families. 

"I would also like to say at the same time, don't think about logic, but just go and enjoy yourself," he added. "You know it is a complete Bollywood film. Just leave your brains at home and enjoy yourself."

'The big weight of the film is in its script'

Image: A scene from Kambakkht Ishq

Kambakkht Ishq -- directed by first time filmmaker Sabbir Khan -- co-stars Kareena Kapoor, Kumar's nemesis and naturally, his love interest too. 

And it is the first Bollywood film to have been shot at Los Angeles' Universal Studios with three prominent Hollywood guest appearances -- Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards and Brandon Routh. But Kumar maintains that he was drawn to the film because of its script and not the chance to share screen times with Hollywood stars.

"It was a great honour acting with them, but the big weight of the film is in its script," he said. "This film required these actors. We didn't try to force them into the film. I played a stuntman in Hollywood and so it was important to bring these characters in the film. In Singh is Kinng, Snoop Dogg only appeared in a video, not in the film itself. If it is necessary then we can have Hollywood actors in the film."

'I don't identify with this character'

Image: A scene from Kambakkht Ishq

"I liked the script of Kambakkht Ishq because has a very Indian story about the clash between men and women. I personally believe that women are much stronger and much better," Akshay added.

His comment brought much appreciation from the women present at the press conference.

"I actually don't identify with this character," he added. "My character is a male chauvinist pig. I stay at home with my mother, my sister, my wife and my niece. I am surrounded by women. Then on the sets, I am working with beautiful actresses. Guys I must say I am sorry but I believe that men are from mars and women are from heaven." 

By now, the women journalists were clapping and Kumar had charmed everyone.

'Stallone was very interested in my ayurvedic doctor'

Image: A scene from Kambakkht Ishq

But there is no denying that acting in the film with Stallone was a major event in Akshay's life. On the sets, the two actors talked about their experiences performing their own stunts and shared notes about their physical injuries. "He (Stallone) was very interested in my ayurvedic doctor," Akshay said.

And then Akshay got a tad sentimental as he narrated a story about his days working in a restaurant in Thailand. He remembered three posters he had up on the wall in his room -- of Stallone, Sridevi and Bruce Lee. 

"I cannot believe how lucky I have been to be able to act with two of them," he said referring to Stallone and Sridevi. "I want to go back to where that wall was and put up some more posters now."